After a long, hard academic year, the time to move all of your stuff out of your room can seem a daunting and near impossible task. It really doesn't need to be! There are just two main points to consider. The first of these is how exactly to pack your belongings, the second is how to transport them!
Extended transit can cause serious damage to property if it isn't packed properly, and yet there are some simple steps you can take to minimise this risk. It should go without saying that any boxes which are used for items of value should be reliable, sturdy and fit for purpose. The use of flimsy and unreliable boxes such as old cardboard boxes can cause damage to your belongings and could break at any moment. If you absolutely must use less sturdy boxes, then reserve these for highly durable items such as books, which have less chance of being damaged. Don't be tempted to place heavy items in less durable boxes. It is also a good idea to stack books rather than stand them on their end, the spines may become damaged. Remember that many items will need to be disassembled for easier transit. Items such as beds and other furniture should be taken apart in preparation. Smaller items such as lampshades can easily be removed and doing so will drastically reduce the chances of damage.
When moving valuable items, protective material such as bubble wrap is an absolute necessity. It is relatively cheap and easy to acquire, and all items of any value should be protected. Whilst any spaces or gaps in boxes should be avoided whenever possible, if these need to be filled then bubble wrap or paper will suffice. However, it is important to remember to wrap each valuable item individually regardless of circumstance. During transit, frequent movement is inevitable and thus individual wrapping will prevent items from coming into contact with and damaging each other. It is also a good idea to mark boxes with the word 'fragile' to ensure that due care is taken at all times when handling items.
Electrical items also need special dispensation when moving. Cables and wires should always be wrapped beforehand to prevent tangling. These should be wrapped carefully, using cable ties if possible. The trick is to wrap wires almost to, but not quite, maximum tension as this can also cause damage if too much pressure is put on them. Where possible, smaller electrical items such as laptops and computer devices should be placed in purpose built cases and holders to ensure safe transit. Where these are not available, a large amount of bubble wrap can prove adequate. Also consider what to pack alongside these items, as a little thought can prevent a great deal of damage. For example, do not pack laptops next to other valuable items such as crockery or glassware, instead pack some clothes next to each of these items to provide a secondary cushion and layer of protection. Wooden items also should be wrapped in sheets or bubble wrap to prevent scratching. Clothes and bed sheets should be cleaned before transit, to prevent unpleasant odours from spreading amongst your belongings. If this is not possible, ensure that any dirty items are wrapped up separately and are airtight.
If storing items for an extended period of time, then there are a number of additional considerations. Apply some form of rust preventative to metal items if possible. Consider whether the storage space you will be using is damp or poorly ventilated. Certain items such as clothing and electrical goods may not be suitable for extended storage in such conditions.
When transporting items to a van or other transit vehicle, place the heaviest items at the bottom. Be extremely careful when stacking boxes on top of each other, as transit can cause items to fall. Place only highly durable or non-valuable items in these higher positions. Also consider the placement of items inside the boxes themselves. Fragile items should be placed in the centre of boxes, not at the edges to provide additional protection.
Once everything's packed and ready, the only thing left to consider is where to keep it all! Thankfully, if there are no family or friends with the space to lend a hand, we offer storage for students over the summer period. With just a little thought and preparation, packing transporting and storing items is nowhere near as much of a headache as you might think!